When most of us think of the early 20th century workplace, we think of oppressive mines and factories, or a buttoned down office with inkwells and a stern overseer. While that may have been true for employees of Colorado Fuel & Iron, that was not the case at the Denver Tramway Company (DTC), as the picture above indicates.
If anything, the DTC's headquarters were more like the offices of an internet start up than most workplaces of its era.
Built in 1911-1912 and located on the corner of 14th and Arapahoe, the DTC Building was truly a multi-purpose facility. The DTC's new headquarters cost $396,000 (about $9.8 million in 2017 dollars), and had something for everyone, including the workers.
Five of the building's eight floors were used by the DTC while the other three were rented out. But what's important for our purposes is what the DTC housed in its basement. On its lower levels, the company's headquarters had a number of amenities designed for the comfort and recreation of its employees, including the lovely bowling alley pictured in this Louis McClure photo (MCC-3940)
According to Denver Municipal Facts, the building also included a full gymnasium, showers and baths and a library/reading room. While these perks might seem spartan when compared to the cupboards full of snacks and pool tables at Google or Facebook, they were incredibly cutting edge in the world of 1912.
If you love learning about Colorado and Denver history, you'll definitely want to follow the Western History and Genealogy page on Facebook.